We got up early and took the drive down to the Del Mar Fairgrounds (not quite to San Diego) where they were holding the show. We were excited all week, but when we arrived and gathered up our gear we were ready for some action. We got to the building and there was a line that just curled around in a big semi-circle. They hadn't yet opened the doors, but you could smell the anticipation. We hadn't waited 3 minutes and they opened the doors and they invited everyone in.
Once inside we were able to fill out forms for raffle prizes and get a lay of the land. To be honest, the set-up looked a bit small and cramped. Everything and all businesses were in one large building, but it didn't seem too large. That did not discourage us and we ventured on. We had both gone with an open mind and just a thirst for knowledge. I also wanted to see what was new from Nikon.
We first sat in on a presentation by photographer Tony Corbell. He was very entertaining and gave us some good advice about how to shoot, but mainly to gather as much information as you possibly can. He also mentioned that you can never know everything about photography. You can always gain some knowledge and that he comes to these shows and he always learns something. Reminds me of a quote by Confuscious - "He who says he knows everything is a fool."
After Tony's presentation, Kymberli went to see a portrait photographer and I waited around to hear what was new from Nikon. I am amazed at what they showed us. The new Nikon D3 is the COOLEST camera I have ever seen. It shoots 9 frames a second, the ISO can go up to 25,600 <-- NOT a typo (amazing, huh?), and is 12.1 megapixels with 51 points of reference. AWESOME!! I want one so bad, but the $4999 price tag has me crying. It is definitely worth it, I just can't do it. I have to stick with my D80 for now.
We walked around afterwards and bought a few things. I finally got a right angle finder from Hoodman USA and I can't wait to test it out. It'll be fun to test it out with some of the dogs around town.
I went to see Jim Sugar speak just before lunch. His images have graced more than 50 magazine covers and he is definitely proud of it and he has every right to be! He has some great images. He discussed what it takes to get a cover and he described what he had to do for each of the shoots. Cool stuff. I have to say that I never imagined having a magazine cover, but he said once you get one you want them all.
We tried out some new equipment, saw some people from Bogen and Samy's Camera that we saw at the Bogen Café two weeks ago. They seemed very excited to see us and that just made us super happy. We talked shop and discussed a Manfrotto tripod that sounds great. Kymberli might get a new present for Christmas - but will it fit in her stocking?
Our last presentation of the day was from Mark Dimalanta who is from nearby Huntington Beach. He spoke about how he was in the medical field working when he was struck with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Long story short he had to quit doing what he was doing and he got into photography. He's a surfer and he decided to start taking surf shots. He showed his work and told us stories about how he shoots mainly with a 10mm fisheye and a 600mm. One of his shots was cool. This surfer looks really close to him and he told us that the guy actually brushed his cheek againt the housing during the shot. That is what I call getting up close with your work!
We were ready to leave after that and we got outside just in time to catch the sun going down. Twilight was growing near and out came our cameras. It was funny. We just looked at one another and told each other we were going to photograph something. Here are a couple of the shots I got when we came out.
When we were walking out we saw some beautiful flowers. Out of the corner of my eye I spied a hummingbird drinking nectar... so I started shooting. Well, he got miffed and took off up into the tree. He was upset that I disrupted his meal and kept flying away and doing fly-bys overhead. I mentioned to Kymberli that we should wait a few minutes and he'd be back. Sure enough he came back - right next to me! My ISO was set to 1600, so the images are a bit grainy, but the best part was that I didn't have to use a flash. Here are some of the shots.
In the parking lot was this bike with the Pink Panther on the back. I thought it was great and had to shoot it.
So get out, get to some shows, take as many photos as you can and don't procrastinate. If you see an image you want to shoot - Shoot It! You may never get a second chance.